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director launches fresh freedom bid
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
Janaury 17, 2013
Rights Association (ZIMRIGHTS) Director Okay Machisa on Thursday
17 January 2013 launched a fresh freedom bid after filing a bail
application in the High Court seeking his release from prison, where
he was condemned to on Tuesday 15 January 2013.
lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa on Thursday filed an appeal in the High Court
against Harare Magistrate Tendai Mahwe's refusal
to grant bail to the ZimRights director. Magistrate Mahwe on Wednesday
16 January 2013 denied Machisa bail and remanded him to 30 January
2013 after ruling that he was facing a serious offence which is
of "national interest" and hence should be in prison
custody to allow for some "complex investigations" without
In her application, Mtetwa
argued that Magistrate Mahwe erred and grossly misdirected himself
when he concluded that there was reasonable suspicion justifying
the placement of Machisa on remand. Mtetwa argued that the Magistrate
failed to consider and properly take into account the fact that
the Form 242 (Request for Remand Form) and its contents did not
speak to the facts in the annexures tabled in court. She said Magistrate
Mahwe failed to consider and properly make findings on the fact
that the annexures to the Form 242 related entirely to Machisa in
his alleged representative capacity. Magistrate Mahwe, Mtetwa said
further erred and misdirected himself when he found that there was
a link between the ZimRights director and the suspects in a different
Mtetwa wants the High
Court to issue an order admitting Machisa on $500 bail and to surrender
his passport to the Clerk of court together with reporting at CID
Law and Order Section at Harare Central Police Station once every
week on Friday.
The bail application
is yet to be set down for hearing.
arrested on Monday 14 January 2013 and charged with contravening
Section 31, 136 and 137 of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly attempting to
defraud the Registrar General's Office by forging and manufacturing
counterfeit copies of certificates of voter registration.
His arrest followed the
apprehension of Leo Chamwahwinya, the ZimRights Education Programmes
Manager, who was arrested on 13 December 2012 together with Dorcas
Shereni, the ZimRights Highfields Local Chapter Chairperson and
Farai Bhani and Tatenda Chinaka, whom he charged are not connected
to the grassroots human rights organisation.
Besides dismissing Machisa's
bail petition, Magistrate Mahwe also threw out his application for
refusal of remand.
the ZLHR fact
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